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US chicken prices may rise as growth slows, report says

US chicken meat prices, which were 14 percent lower on average in the first half this year compared with the same period last year, may strengthen as output growth slows, according to the Department of Agriculture.

In the five weeks ended July 7, the number of chicks entering broiler farms for fattening was 2.1 percent less than in the same period in 2005, the Department said in its monthly report on the outlook for the poultry industry.

"With growth in broiler production expected to slow in the second half of 2006, prices for most broiler products are projected to gradually strengthen compared with the first half of 2006,'' said David Harvey, author of the poultry outlook.

Poultry suppliers are counting on stronger domestic demand after broiler exports fell 9 percent in May.

Prices for whole birds averaged 61.9 cents a pound in the first half of 2006, about 14 percent lower than in the same period in 2005, which was down 5 percent compared with the first six months of 2004, Harvey said.

For more information see the USDA's July Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Oulook report.

Editor WorldPoultry

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